Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Language: Old English
Origin: sceoh

shy

1 adjective
     
shy1 comparative shyer, superlative shyest
1 nervous and embarrassed about meeting and speaking to other people, especially people you do not know:
He was a quiet, shy man.
shy with
She was very shy with strangers.
a shy smile
As a teenager I was painfully shy (=extremely shy).
shy to do something
He was too shy to come sit by me in class.
go all shy British English (=to suddenly become very shy)
Oh, have you gone all shy, Jenny?
2

somebody is not shy about (doing) something

used to emphasize that someone is very willing to do something or get involved with something:
John has strong opinions and he's not shy about sharing them.
3 unwilling to do something or get involved in something
be shy about/of (doing) something
Employees are urged not to be shy about reporting incidents of sexual harassment.
4

be shy (of something)

especially American English to have less than a particular amount of something:
The Democrats are three votes shy of a majority.
Jessica died Monday. She was one week shy of her 13th birthday.
5 used to say that someone does not like something and therefore tries to avoid it:
Although publicity-shy, he recently agreed to be interviewed.
camera-shy, work-shy
6 shy animals get frightened easily and are unwilling to come near people:
shyly adverb:
He grinned shyly.
shyness noun [uncountable]
I overcame my shyness.

➔ fight shy of (doing) something

at fight1 (22)

; ➔ once bitten, twice shy

at bite1 (14)
WORD FOCUS: shy WORD FOCUS: shy
similar words: timid, self-conscious, reserved, withdrawn, introverted

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